By Noel Daniel
It’s time to bundle up again. And when Jack Frost starts nipping at your nose, it’s unsurprisingly bad for your skin.
“Cold weather is very drying for the skin,” said Dr. Catherine Biren, Board Certified Dermatologist at Dermatology Affiliates Medical Group. “We dermatologists even have a term for it: ‘winter xerosis.’”
Winter xerosis is an especial problem in the Central Valley, where the natural climate is dry. Don’t start packing your bags just yet, though—we’ve asked local skin specialists to crack the code on smooth, healthy winter skin.
Your first step in keeping skin happy and healthy is, of course, stopping in to visit a doctor. Board certified dermatologists know the ins and outs of your personal pores and can save you money on pricey over-the-counter cosmetics. They can also recommend quick grooming fixes that might help your skin long-term.
“It is important to bathe with a moisturizing, unscented soap, and to moisturize immediately after showering,” said Dr. Biren. “It’s best to moisturize at least twice a day if you have dry skin. Skin naturally gets more dry as we age, and moisturizers become even more important.”
In addition to moisturizers, Dr. Biren recommends noncomedogenic sunscreen. But wait, you say, it’s not summer—do i really need to use sunscreen in winter?
“Always use a sunscreen!” emphasizes Dr. Biren. “Ultraviolet light is damaging to the skin, and this comes through even when it’s cold. It’s also reflected off many surfaces, including snow, which is why you see skiers applying lots of sunblock.”
For those with acne or acne rosacea, it’s especially important to remember to use a noncomedogenic sunscreen and moisturizer. A comedone, Dr. Biren explains, is a whitehead or blackhead—and it’s an important word to look out for on labels. She recommends moisturizing in the morning with a noncomedogenic sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
“Remember, the SPF only applies to the UVB rating, so make sure your sunscreen also has a UVA block,” advises Dr. Biren. “Water resistant options are great and many even come tinted. Many ‘total blocks’ contain zinc oxide. Clothes and wide-brimmed hats also work well.”
In terms of treatments that can make your skin look its best, Dr. Biren assured us that there are a number of pretty panaceas in the form of creams and in-office treatments. These include topical retinoids, antioxidants, skin lighteners, peels, laser, Botox fillers, and Ultherapy—a noninvasive procedure that lifts, tightens, and tones that Dermatology Affiliates Medical Group happens to specialize in.
No matter what skin problem you need to tackle, when looking for a dermatologist, make sure to always choose one that’s certified by the American Board of Dermatology. They require four years of a dermatology residency after medical school—one of the hardest residencies to be accepted into—and have passed a multiday qualifying examination. Love the skin you’re in with the highest care that it deserves.
Dermatology Affiliates Medical Group || 1324 Nelson Ave., Ste. B, Modesto | 209-524-9481